Good management of egg producing hens
The modern egg producing strains of chickens usually have fewer poor producing hens if you manage the birds properly as pullets. In commercial egg laying operations the birds are not usually culled after being placed in the laying house unless the birds become diseased or crippled. In the small laying flock the hens should be culled about eight to ten weeks after being placed in the laying house. This allows the birds plenty of time to adjust to their new surroundings and reach peak production. It also provides extra time for the development of the slower maturing pullets. Often you can detect the non-laying or poor producing birds by observing the condition of the comb and head characteristics. Body characteristics will indicate if the bird is capable of being a good layer.
Characteristics Indicating Ability to Lay
|Comb and Wattles||Large, bright red, glossy||Small, dull, shriveled|
|Head||Neat, refined||Beefy, weak|
|Eye||Bright, prominent||Dull, sunken|
|Eye ring||Bleached||Yellow tinted|
|Abdomen||Deep, soft, pliable||Shallow, tough, tight|
|Pubic bones||Flexible, wide apart||Stiff, close together|
|Vent||Large, moist, bleached||Small, dry, puckered, yellow|
Culling at night is recommended, since the birds are less likely to be frightened and reduce egg production. A flashlight with the lens covered with blue cellophane will make it easier to detect poor layers without disturbing the flock. Handle the birds as little as possible so that production will not be greatly reduced. Delay culling if a significant portion of the flock is suffering or recovering from a minor disease or molt. Culling a diseased or molting flock often removes some of the better laying birds.
Backyard chicken flocks continue to grow in popularity as Mississippians embrace the ability to produce some of their own food and enjoy the quirky personalities of the birds.Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said those considering starting a backyard flock need to make clear-headed plans before bringing home darling little chicks.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Each February marks the occasion for producers to share their research and programming needs with Mississippi State University agricultural specialists in person.
To comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the opportunity will be extended virtually this year.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite multiple challenges in 2020, Mississippi’s poultry industry retained its first-place position among the state’s agricultural commodities. It topped the list with an estimated total production value of $2.16 billion.
That figure is down 16.1% from 2019. Final figures will be available in April.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will accept applications for assistance from agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.Sign-up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 -- CFAP 2 -- begins Sept. 21 and runs through Dec. 11, 2020. The program is open to producers of row crops, livestock, aquaculture, dairy and specialty crop commodities.
Poultry producers across the Southeast have plenty of experience cleaning up after storm damage to broiler and breeder houses, but they now have new guidelines for hurricane preparedness and recovery.